First of all welcome and congratulations to you both as you prepare for your wedding ceremony and, onwards, for a happy and fulfilled life together!
God’s love is the centre of our faith. The sacrament of Marriage is where God blesses the union of a man and a woman in an unbreakable bond to mirror his love for us.
A married couple are called to live out faithful and everlasting love on this earth. Marriage is not to be entered lightly. The Church is very serious about couples wishing to marry, we would like couples understand what they are undertaking and that they give it their complete and utter consent.
When a couple wishes to marry in St Fintans Parish they meet with the priest who will discuss the necessary forms to be filled.
The diocesan agency ACCORD provides assistance to couples preparing for the sacrament of Marriage and for couples who may experience problems during their Marriage.
For your convenience we have set out this page under three headings:
1. What the Church requires:
The preparations listed to prepare for your wedding ceremony here in St. Fintan’s church are, in general, applicable to any church venue and probably applicable also in detail.
1. Baptism Certificate newly issued in long form from the church where you were baptised. (Should be issued and dated within 6 months of the date of your wedding).
2. Confirmation Certificate: A record of your Confirmation is often shown on your Baptismal Certificate AND THIS WILL SUFFICE. If there is no record shown then you will need to get a Certificate from the parish where you received your Confirmation.
3. Letter of Freedom to Marry: You will need a Letter of Freedom from each parish in which you have resided for six months or more since you were sixteen years of age. If you have lived in many parishes in that period of time, or if it would be particularly difficult to get one, then a sworn affidavit, witnessed by a Commissioner of Oaths, will suffice.)
4.Certificate of attendance at Pre-Marriage Preparation Course These courses offer to all couples the opportunity to reflect on their relationship with one another as they prepare for their marriage. Every couple is expected to make a serious effort to attend a pre-marriage preparation course. For further information on the nature and content of these courses, please log on to www.accord.ie.
The Pre Nuptial Enquiry Form. This Form is filled out in your presence by the priest in your parish. It takes about 20 minutes to complete. It is a declaration that you are free to marry and that you understand what is involved in a Christian marriage. A separate Enquiry Form is completed for both parties.
These documents are then sent by the priest to the Church in which the wedding will take place. After the wedding they will be kept in the archives for that church.
Most weddings take place within the celebration of Mass, but this is not obligatory. If you prefer, a wedding liturgy can be prepared without the celebration of Mass and the reception of Holy Communion, choosing prayers and selected scripture readings interspersed with music and hymns. This option is often chosen for inter-faith marriages or where neither party regularly attends mass.
A rehearsal is highly recommended because it familiarises you with the detail of the ceremony in advance. This invariably helps reduce anxiety on the day itself! Please arrange date and time with the priest well in advance and if a visiting priest is the celebrant, consult with the Sacristan.
A rehearsal would include the Bride and Groom, the Bridesmaid and Bestman, the Father of the Bride and as many as can come who have a lead role in the ceremony.
Music is a very important part of the wedding ceremony and a lot of thought should go into its selection - always remembering to choose pieces appropriate for celebration in a church. You should confirm your choice of music with the celebrant in the days before the wedding.
Some couples like to receive the blessing of the Holy Father on the occasion of their wedding. You need first to ask a priest to sign a form of recommendation which will be sent with your chosen parchment (available in Veritas, Mid Abbey Street, Dublin 2) to the Vatican. The whole process takes about 10 weeks.
Sacrament of Reconciliation
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is an excellent preparation for your wedding day and is available in this parish on Saturdays after the 10.00 a.m. Mass and on Saturday evenings before the 6.30p.m. Mass. Should these times not be convenient, the priests of the parish would be only too pleased to accommodate you.
If you do not have your own florist or a contact for the red carpet, you should make enquiries from the Parish Office.
The suggested donations currently in operation are:
Church Donations €200
An offering to the Priest celebrant is customary and at your own discretion.
All of these may be placed in envelopes marked appropriately and presented by the Best Man on the day.
While a booklet is not essential, it is a very convenient and welcome support in following the ceremony and a very nice family souvenir. Preparing the booklet yourselves and choosing the readings and prayers is an excellent way of entering more meaningfully into the celebration.
The priest celebrant here will gladly help you with selecting readings, prayers, etc. For more useful tips, visit www.gettingmarried.ie
Use of confetti?
Our church is cleaned by volunteers who give their time generously and we would ask you to respect this by substituting confetti with something, e.g. bubble-blowing, which leave a clean-up unnecessary. (The throwing of confetti in a public place does, in fact, contravene the litter by-laws.)
1. If you are marrying another baptised Christian, you will need to write to your Bishop as a canonical
requirement for reception of the sacrament.
2. If you are marrying outside of the Christian tradition, a canonical dispensation will be required
from your Bishop.
The priest of the Parish where you live will be glad to give you and advice or guidance which you may require on these matters.
The proper and ordinary place of the celebration of a Catholic marriage continues to be the parish church.
Getting Married Abroad? The Church requirements for getting married in the Catholic Church Abroad are similar to those in Ireland. For the Civil Requirements see www.groireland.ie
What the State requires:
photo identity (preferably a passport or driving license)
names and dates of birth of witnesses
name of the church where you wish to be married
date of marriage
name of the priest who will officiate at the marriage; this presumes that the celebrant is a registered solemniser and that he has agreed to officiate at the marriage.
Who is the Solemniser?
The priest who officiates at the marriage is called the “Solemniser”. In order to officiate at a marriage priests must be on the “List of Solemnisers” submitted by each diocesan Bishop to the Registrar-General.
If a priest is not on the List of Solemnisers, and wishes to officiate at a marriage, he must become a temporary solemniser. He can do this by submitting a request to the Bishop of the place of marriage together with an appropriate Testimonial Letter signed by his own bishop or Religious Superior.
§ Book the church
§ Have the name of the priest who has agreed to be celebrant (Solemniser)
§ Meet the civil Registrar at least 3 months before the wedding to give notice of your intention to marry.
§ Receive the Marriage Registration Form (MRF) from the civil registrar (Fee charged).
§ Show the Form to the priest celebrant (Solemniser)
§ Make the verbal declaration of no civil impediment not more that 2 days before wedding.
§ Return the signed MRF to any civil registrar not later than 1 month after the wedding.
§ Book the church
§ Get copy of Baptismal and Confirmation Certificates
§ Letter of Freedom
§ Dispensations (if necessary)
§ Certificate of attendance at Marriage Preparation Course
§ Arrange with church for flowers, music, etc., for the day
§ Make appointment for Rehearsal
Once again, we congratulate you both and if we can be of any further assistance to you, please contact us. We wish you every happiness on the day. You can also find lots of valuable advice and information on www.gettingmarried.ie
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